Status Report

Does warm debris dust stem from asteroid belts?

By SpaceRef Editor
February 24, 2017
Filed under ,

F. Geiler, A. Krivov
(Submitted on 20 Feb 2017)

Many debris discs reveal a two-component structure, with a cold outer and a warm inner component. While the former are likely massive analogues of the Kuiper belt, the origin of the latter is still a matter of debate. In this work we investigate whether the warm dust may be a signature of asteroid belt analogues. In the scenario tested here the current two-belt architecture stems from an originally extended protoplanetary disc, in which planets have opened a gap separating it into the outer and inner discs which, after the gas dispersal, experience a steady-state collisional decay. This idea is explored with an analytic collisional evolution model for a sample of 225 debris discs from a Spitzer/IRS catalogue that are likely to possess a two-component structure. We find that the vast majority of systems (220 out of 225, or 98%) are compatible with this scenario. For their progenitors, original protoplanetary discs, we find an average surface density slope of −0.93±0.06 and an average initial mass of (3.3+0.4−0.3)×10−3 solar masses, both of which are in agreement with the values inferred from submillimetre surveys. However, dust production by short-period comets and – more rarely – inward transport from the outer belts may be viable, and not mutually excluding, alternatives to the asteroid belt scenario. The remaining five discs (2% of the sample: HIP 11486, HIP 23497, HIP 57971, HIP 85790, HIP 89770) harbour inner components that appear inconsistent with dust production in an “asteroid belt.” Warm dust in these systems must either be replenished from cometary sources or represent an aftermath of a recent rare event, such as a major collision or planetary system instability.

Comments:    Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 12 pages and 12 figures
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
DOI:    10.1093/mnras/stx462
Cite as:    arXiv:1702.05966 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1702.05966v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Fabian Geiler 
[v1] Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:48:47 GMT (234kb,D)

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